"Nike Free" has just taken on a new meaning.
Celeb-gossip site TMZ today posted a picture of Lance Armstrong sporting a new sneaker brand while jogging in Texas, a week after the athlete was dropped by the Swoosh amid a doping scandal. It appears the cyclist swapped out his Nikes for a pair of Asics that -- in keeping with the official colors of Livestrong products -- are black and yellow. (He was wearing his trademark Livestrong wristband too).
Given that Armstrong is mid-doping scandal, the choice of the brand is curious. Asics is an acronym that comes from a Latin phrase, anima sana in corpore sano, which translates into "a sound mind in a sound body."
As Ad Age reported last week, after Nike dropped its years-long sponsorship of Mr. Armstrong, several other brands, including Michelob beer, 24-Hour-Fitness gyms, Trek bikes and Giro helmets, followed suit.
We asked Asics reps if Mr. Armstrong will be linked to their products in any official capacity. But a spokeswoman for the sneaker and apparel brand said "it's just a coincidence" and declined to comment any further.